The Science Of Your Skin
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Tweakments, trends and future skincare: Helen Wyre of No.23 Skin Clinic
Satisfaction with our skin – and the myriad of ways one can set about achieving that – encompasses education, commitment, self-compassion and well, a nice bit of pampering. Zero judgement zone.
Let’s not forget that while clinically-proven science comes first, skincare can be both functional and fun. And when people find what works for them – whether that’s powerful custom-made active ingredients or a glow-boosting tweakment, it can be profoundly transformative.
Skin + Me spoke to Founder of No.23 Skin Clinic in Kensington, and Skin + Me subscriber, Helen Wyre, together with her Medical Director, Dr Cherry Armstrong for an insightful take on modern, personalised skincare.
Skin + Me: Hi Helen! Tell us a bit more about you and why you founded No.23 Skin with Medical Director, Dr Cherry Armstrong.
Helen: I’ve always worked in healthcare clinics and corporations. When I started my own business with No.23 Skin, taking ownership of the customer journey was a big part of it for me. I wanted to create somewhere friendly and welcoming, because opening up about your skin can be daunting, but getting the treatment right can be transformative confidence-wise. That’s what we strive for. We offer skincare advice alongside an aesthetic and medical journey to support each individual treatment plan.
No.23 Skin sits between a high-end aesthetic clinic and hub of medical expertise. We’re CQC registered. We combine clinical professionals and cosmetic doctors in a single welcoming space.
Our Medical Director, Dr Cherry Armstrong was at the top of my list to work with. She has vast medical and aesthetic experience but she’s approachable and down to earth – Cherry prioritises the health of our clients’ skin before anything else.
Skin + Me: There’s a whole world out there beyond powerful active ingredients that you can apply topically. It’s a personal choice how clients want to reach their goals. One thing Skin + Me emphasises is that great skin takes commitment and a marathon is better than a sprint. And that prevention (hello, SPF) is better than cure. What are your feelings around this?
Helen: We have the same ethos – that moving towards healthier skin is a gradual progression that takes time. Skincare is like exercise in that you have to maintain health regularly. You can’t just jump on a bike or go for a run once and then see results long term.
It’s important to identify skin’s needs based on individual assessments and partner with people throughout their skin evolution. Skin changes to respond to every life stage – think pregnancy or menopause – your skincare should respond to that.
You should always start with skin type and skin health and routine should follow that. At the clinic we have clients come in to see an aesthetician for a facial, a doctor for their acne or a simple procedure like getting a skin tag removed. They learn more about skincare and their journey starts there.
We build trust, empathise with every concern and put the health of skin first. Oh, and we always recommend SPF as the first line of defence against ageing and a lifestyle that supports healthy skin.
Dr Cherry: Absolutely. Prevention is far better than cure. There are no instant fixes for healthy skin. You have to be committed. It’s easier to commit to simple regimes, just keep it simple and achievable. The longer you stick to it, the more you’ll see the benefits, and your incentive to continue will grow.
Let’s talk tweakments
Helen: Microneedling is awesome. We use SkinPen, an FDA approved device and a microneedling pen which stimulates collagen production from lower levels of skin to stimulate collagen production. It’s an excellent treatment for pigmentation, scars, fine lines and gives an all round plumping effect. Be aware that results can look similar to sunburn the following day but it’s worth it afterwards when it settles.
Another approach could be a peel, a facial and then microneedling a few weeks apart depending on the client’s needs to best stimulate skin cells for collagen production. And removing dead skin cells – think glowing skin.
An LED light facial stimulates healing and also treats signs of ageing for a great glow. We also offer a deep cleanse with extractions by hand for best results.
Skin + Me: We’ve heard lots about Profhilo recently, where an anti-ageing injectable made from hyaluronic acid is used to boost collagen and rejuvenate the skin. Why do you think this kind of treatment is growing in popularity?
Helen: Profhilo is a great step between a topical skincare and injectables. It’s a treatment where we inject hyaluronic acid on the lower part of the face, hands, neck or body – it gently spreads like honey underneath the top layer of the skin and is really effective.
Hyaluronic acid stimulates maintenance of water moisture by the skin and gives a great, plumping effect – particularly in the lower part of the face. Imagine the glow you’d get after a facial – the results are similar to that but they last longer.
Dr Cherry: Profhilo is growing in popularity because it really does give your skin volume, hydration and a glow. It’s not like a filler even though it contains Hyaluronic acid. Profhilo acts to draw water in, hydrate the skin and stimulate your own skin cells to produce collagen and elastin. Newbies to cosmetic skincare who are tentative about going straight to fillers and Botox can use this as a stepping stone to start with. It gives a natural look and people feel comfortable with that.
Skin health: Prevention is better than cure
Skin + Me: It’s not a surprise that anti-wrinkle injections (Botox) and fillers are your most popular treatments. What do people need to know before asking for these?
Dr Cherry: Ideally prevention is better than cure so I’d always ask if they’ve tried other options for skincare such as:
+ Make sure you look after your skin by stopping smoking, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Reduce alcohol intake.
+ Wash and cleanse your skin in the morning. Take your makeup off at night and moisturise for hydration.
+ Use SPF at least factor 30 when you’re out in the daytime.
+ Understand active ingredients in skincare that tackle signs of ageing such as retinoids, Vitamin C, They help to reduce pigmentation, smooth out fine lines and rejuvenate your skin.
+ Regular facials and peels can help.
+ Don’t over-exfoliate. This can strip your skin of its natural oily protective layer causing skin irritation, redness and reactions.
+ Don’t use too many active skin products. They can interact with each other and cause skin reactions and irritation.
Even with a good lifestyle and skincare routine, due to natural ageing, sun exposure and genetic predisposition, it’s still reasonable to consider Botox and fillers. Botox and fillers, if done well, can give you a natural look that can help you look fresher and brighter.
Before embarking on treatment, read up on it and understand the pros and cons of each treatment. There is a lot of misinformation out there so it always helps to seek advice from professionals.
Skin + Me: Do you think there’s been a generational movement towards better education around skincare? Do younger people feel more empowered to come into your clinic looking for advice?
Helen: We see much more savvy customers over the last ten years. They come in for advice or ask about a routine that has worked for someone else. We’re often re-educating people that not everything works for everyone. Some information can be inaccurate and difficult to decipher unless you have a clinical background. It’s often about learning what specific ingredients that work for you.
Profhilo and Botox are brand names for the actual medication, but customers come in directly asking for them and some know more about them than others.
On the flipside, tweakment trends can be scary for people. There’s misunderstanding around what results may look like because of reality TV and social trends. Of course, this can be useful as a guide but really it’s about honesty, education and knowing what works via experts.
We’re mindful to be empathetic to every skin concern no matter how big or small. Our ethos is around identifying the right treatment pathways to realistic, natural results and more confident clients.
Helen’s Skin + Me story
Skin + Me: You’re a Skin + Me subscriber. That makes us so happy! Tell us more about your personal skincare journey and the products you use.
Helen: My acne started in my early teens. When I was 14-years-old, I tried my mum’s foundation and covering it up with makeup became my solace. Never felt it was bad enough to get treatment but I struggled with it on a daily basis. Later, my GP gave me medication but nothing seemed to work long-term.
As my acne persisted into adulthood, I tried everything. I wasn’t true to myself addressing it properly until I contacted a dermatologist and aesthetic doctor who gave me the right prescription and suggested a new skincare routine. I now use my Skin + Me Daily Doser and get peels every month, plus microneedling for my acne scarring. I’m also a big fan of a little botox to smooth out lines on my forehead.
I also treat my pigmentation from pregnancy and a bit of sun damage. My Daily Doser contains niacinamide, azelaic acid, (it has no tretinoin since I’ve been breastfeeding). It’s the ultimate effective, fuss-free skincare. It delivers the exact amount, and zero stress.
I also use Epionce moisturiser. It’s developed by US dermatologists to nurture the health of the skin and support prescription skincare use. And SPF, naturally.
Skin + Me: How does good skin make you feel?
Helen: Just being able to go out without makeup sounds so simple but it’s revolutionary. I don’t feel the need to cover my skin up. It’s such a freedom that I can go without ‘the mask’.
Skin + Me: Interpretation of beauty has cultural context. How do you feel about getting asked for the ‘look of the moment’ (such as reference to a certain celebrity) or similar?
Cherry: It’s easy here to go along the downward spiral and end up looking like clones. Personally, I don’t want to look like someone else. I want to look like me, with a little tweak here and there and rate celebs who keep their look natural.
We really need to embrace individuality and champion becoming a better version of ourselves rather than have a template of a look we want. That’s the key to confidence.
NOTE: If you plan to undertake any additional treatments or tweakments alongside your Daily Doser, please consult your Pharmacist.
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